I have to mow the lawn this morning, but I thought I’d procrastinate on that and write a blog post. Isn’t writing more rewarding than moving the lawn? Unless you hate to write. Then, mowing just might be your cup of tea.
Here’s the new addition to my wardrobe this week.
I’ve had carpal tunnel issues in both wrists off and on for years. I had surgery for the right hand about ten years ago. Now, the left wrist is acting up. The good news is that they now make wrist braces in flesh tone instead of just black, so the thing is hardly noticeable. I’m so deluded.
Anyhoo…back to the issue of giving up the #5AR bottle.
I don’t have any new photos of my own mess growing in because it doesn’t look much different from the last photo I posted.
This week, I wrote a guest post for another blog on this topic, but the link has not been reliable, so I copied the post here:
Installment #4: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I started a journey about two months ago that is making be me feel a bit anxious and unsure. It’s also making me feel brave (at times) and irritated. I’m actually all over the map with it.
I’ve stopped coloring my hair.
On the surface, this might not seem like a traumatic decision, but it’s opened so much dialogue that has surprised me.
Most of my women friends are appalled I’ve done such a thing. Other acquaintances clam up and walk away from the topic – like I’m going to reveal that they too are hair painters, and God forbid anyone know. It’s just been weird.
I asked a few men what they thought about women coloring their hair, and they shrugged and stared off blankly for a moment. Then they said, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t care,” or “I’m not touching that.” They’re not thinking about it.
This surprised me too. I thought we women were dying our hair for men – so we would be more attractive and give the illusion of youth and sex appeal. But I’ve come to a different conclusion:
We women dye our hair because we’re in competition with each another.
This is a disappointing realization. But, I’ve questioned many women now – friends and strangers alike (I talked about this with the woman who took a blood sample from Dad this morning) and they’re falling into one of two camps.
1. I’ll never stop dying my hair, because I’ll look older. I don’t want to be dismissed as ‘less than.’ I’m already overweight and older, so I don’t need a third strike against me.
2. I quit dying five years ago because I got tired of it. I’m making peace with the aging process. I feel free. People need to accept me for who I am – this is who I am.
Not one woman has said, I color my hair to get a man, or keep a man, or please my man, or whatever. Men aren’t even mentioned.
Ladies – we are doing this to each other. We are trying to look better and younger than our fellow sisters. This makes me sad.
Shouldn’t we be encouraging each other as we age and grow silver highlights? Shouldn’t we take pride in the years we’ve lived, the challenges we’ve overcome, the victories we’ve gained?
What is wrong with looking our age?
If most of us are dying our hair, it means we’ve collectively bought into the LIE that we are not good enough where we are. In light of the 70’s fight for equality and feminine pride and strength…why are we still painting our hair? If you are a dye-er, I ask you to think about this. Get to the root (pun intended) of why you dye. Be honest with yourself.
I was first challenged to think about all this when my nephew’s wife, who is African American, stopped straightening her hair. She received criticism from friends and family – how could she do such a thing? What is wrong with this picture? I asked myself.
Our natural hair – color, curly, straight, thick, thin, whatever – is what God gave us.
We, in our limited little minds, have narrowly defined ‘beauty’ and then have been trying to squeeze ourselves into that mold ever since.
Why are we doing this?!
Two months into this, are there days I want to scratch this whole thing and paint my hair with L’Oreal 5AR again? Absolutely. I’m scared, as my silver comes in, I might be viewed as fatter and older and less than. But what other people think of me is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Who defines me? Myself, or others?
My hair certainly should not define me.
It’s a crazy issue, I tell ya. I would love to have you join me on this journey. Tell me what you think. What the man in your life thinks.
I’m writing a series about this – 15 Shades of Gray – on my blog. I’m three installments in.
Thanks for reading!
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Check out the comments I received on this guest post HERE. A LOT of insightful comments. I’m so grateful so many women shared their hearts on this. I keep saying, this is such an interesting journey….